January 30, 2013

Acapulco January 2013 Regatta Report

by Bruce Cooper

The 2013 race season started strong with 25 boats participating in the January race hosted by Club de Yates Acapulco. Captains and crews had time off during the holidays to rest and prepare for the new race season. They needed that rest to be ready for lots of sailing. The coming season look very promising with a newly formatted schedule loaded with a new “Race Week” in March and the usual terrific short and medium distance races. More on the Race Week in the next race report.
Class A&B looks solid with 21+ boats, but I think the Class C can be the surprise fleet this year. With only four boats at this regatta, I bet the potential is to double that number of boats or more this year! The ocean fleet needs to make a push and campaign to get 30 or more boats at the regattas this year. Let’s do it!

Starting the year off with a good first race on Saturday was the Farr 46 Wasabi. Wasabi was the winner of the last race of 2012, the Champagne Race, was showing the same great light air speed finishing 2nd right behind the awesome blue RP-52 Vincitore. Close behind in Class A was the Farr 40 gang led by Nitemare, then French Kiss who crossed the line just ahead of the speedy Flojito y Cooperando. Right behind the front Farr 40’s on correct time was the TP-52 Patches who placed 6th just ahead of 7th place Farr 40 Hurakan II.

Class B started first with the CM-1200Velocity tacking away from the start line toward the ocean (good tactic) while the rest of the boats stayed on starboard toward the outside point at Puerto Marquez (not so good tactic). Halfway to the first buoy Velocity was sailing in more wind and looked like they had a commanding lead. For competitors in class A, this was a good clue on tactics for their first leg to the windward buoy. By the end of the race Velocity had lost their favorable wind and fell back into the fold of the fleet correcting to 2nd place behind the J-133 Veloce II. The Frers 43 Bandido sailed well placing 3rd just ahead of the Peterson 40 Piet Hein.
Because the favorable wind was out to sea and was slowly fading to whispers of wind as the day shortened, the boats in class C had trouble finishing their “marathon” 5.7 mile race that finished back in Acapulco Bay in front of the yacht club. The Catalina 38 Tarhitsi proved to have the right stuff and had speed to be the only boat from class C to reach the finish line before the wind completely died!
Race 2 on Saturday was looking like a “driftathon” with the wind dropping below 4 knots. The Race Committee wisely hoisted the abandon race flag and sent the racers in early to prepare for the grand opening of the newly constructed Olympic Plaza located at the entrance of the yacht club.
On Sunday’s in Acapulco there are four things you know will happen. First, church happens at 9:30at the yacht club patio. Second (maybe first), hung over sailors wake up for coffee and food. Third, the day will be sunny and hot. Fourth, the race course will the yacht club start to the El Presidente buoy and then up the Boca Chica channel and either back down the channel around La Roqueta and finally back to the El President buoy with a yacht club finish. Yes, yes, yes and yes…we are a “go” for Sunday!
With a little more wind than Saturday’s race, at the sound of the starting horn crews hoisted spinnakers and quickly crossed the downwind start line and jibed to the beach to pick up some more wind and better current. The NM40 Iemanja did a jibe set at the pine and quickly set course toward the beach, opening a brief lead against the class B boats. Class A was tight and crowded at this race #2 start. As so many times on Sunday’s downwind start, Vincitore set their spinnaker and jibed ahead of the class A boats and took off toward the beach leading class A just minutes into the race!

Maybe that is the fifth thing that always happens on Sunday’s in Acapulco? Good job Vincitore!

The TP-52 Kayue 52 was next in the lineup of boats racing to El President with Patches further behind stuck in all the traffic of other smaller class A boats. To place well in Sunday’s race, a good to super leg tacking up the Boca Chica channel is a must! Well, I am going to tell you the Farr 40’sthrive in this part of the race and sail that channel as good or better than the whole fleet 9 out of 10 times. Flojito y Cooperando dominated the channel and rounded the buoy with a big lead on the other Farr 40’s. The wind held nicely all day pushing the boats into the bay for the final turn at El Presidente before heading back up the bay to the yacht club finish. Vincitore had a commanding lead, but finished 2nd to Flojito y Cooperando. Nitemare sailed consistently to take another 3rd followed by the NM-46Insurgente followed by Hurakan II and Wasabi respectively.
Class B had a downwind showdown with Veloce II and Velocity that opened the door for the other class B boats. While the “V” boats jousted with each other trying to pass each other,Bandido, Piet Hein, Iemanja and Ole slid in ahead on corrected time. Sometimes winning the race with in the race is not so important when trying to win the regatta. Veloce and Velocity sailed themselves right out of contention for the class overall top spot with their strategy to pass each other on the last downwind leg. Oh well, you win some and lose some!

At the end of the day, class A overall was easily won by Vincitore (3pts) followed by Flojito y Cooperando and Nitemare (6,6), Wasabi (8), and Hurakan II (12). Class B overall was won by Bandido (4pts) followed by Veloce II and Piet Hein (6,6). Class C overall was a clean sweep by Tarhitsi (2pts) followed by Sunshine, Marenostrum and Oceana.

Gracias por VELEAR con Ullman Sails,
Tomas Span - Mexico U/S Dealer
Bruce Cooper
*photo credit CYA / Viridiana S*